The Main 4 Steps to Career Development
As practitioners, we very often care about professional development but we tend to ignore the most essential ways to make it a reality however handy as they seem to the eye of the beholder. Therefore, in this article, I would like to share with you four simple steps to “take off” if really practiced once out there in the practicum.
First, it all starts with observation; it is the initial step in general human beings use to understand how things function and how should be done thereby. Kids make use of it most often in learning new things which implies again that this faculty is part of human nature. The same applies to us as professional development seekers but mature and aware as we are, we should be doing it consciously and critically as to sift the undesired effects of the phenomena we are observing in order not to be impacted negatively by them.
Second of importance is planning. Being an observer is evidently never enough to develop in that good observation should generate, by consequence, the desire to take action and interest in doing likewise. However, this should not take place by blind imitation. Therefore, it is necessary to put an action plan, preferably written, which includes all our moves to have a much more systemic guidance as proceeding. There should be a built-in drive to take part in the entire play once the action-plan is put in place as it has to be actualized and not just thrown in the waste basket later on.
After planning comes acting. As the saying goes “actions speak louder than words”; this should get us to do something with the plan we have at hand. We can’t just watch people swimming; rather we have to join in to see how it feels like. With the milestones we have on the way thanks to the action plan, we are more aware where to put our feet; that is, how to start, how to proceed and how to end the race on our journey of being professionally developed in our careers. Eventually taking the initiative is what counts here but this requires a sense of risk-taking and sacrifice. If things don’t go well from the first shot, which presumably the case, that’s not a shame! Missing is a chance to know how we can hit; it’s a learning moment we should stop at.
This moment of making a halt is reflection. Being reflective is significant because it helps us to be more aware of what has gone well and what has gone wrong. At this time, we have to “distance” ourselves from all what has been taking place in the field of our work for the sake of seeing objectively the largest picture. We have to take another position by asking more questions and trying to find answers in due course. We need to be sensitive to details, especially little things which we have taken for granted have no role in the outcome. By doing so, we feel motivated to investigate into the areas where we have operated and as a result, we regain the scene by observation to fix the anomalies standing in the way of our professional development.